Why It’s Smart to Combine Network and Asset Management

02 Dec 2019

Asset tracking has long been largely about financial record-keeping and compliance: a list of each IT asset’s make and model, serial number, date acquired, warranty status, location and so on. But thanks to rapid changes in how technology is used and its continuously growing importance in delivering outstanding customer experiences, asset tracking can no longer be passive, or fragmented across an array of single-device solutions. Today retail IT assets require active, consolidated monitoring and management.

Proliferating Devices Require More Management

Today’s retail stores are bursting with technology, and retailers are expected to increase store IT spending by 5.4% in 2019, according to RIS News. POS terminals and servers are being complemented with an explosion of new devices: kiosks, interactive displays, video walls, electronic shelf labels, tablets, smartphones for associates and more. Often, these new devices are moved with regularity to meet constantly shifting demands, both within and among stores.

That’s a lot of devices that require not just keeping track of their location, but also monitoring their health and maintenance requirements, service history, warranty status, battery health, operating system version, security state and what version of software applications they currently run. Many need to be remotely accessed for quick diagnostics and repairs so they can be put back into service as soon as possible.

Often each new device comes with its own monitoring software for this purpose. These apps are great for maximizing uptime and device life because they enable the retailer to manage all of these. The estate management software that comes with payment terminals, for example, can reduce vulnerability to security breaches, lower maintenance costs, maximize uptime, and enable a better customer experience, while also supporting PCI requirements.

But the features that allow all that are little used, perhaps because in addition to payment terminals, every other store IT device also has its own separate monitoring software. Monitoring each one separately is a headache. What many retailers want is all of their devices on a single portal, but that doesn’t currently exist ― unless retailers outsource management of these devices to a capable support partner.

Fusing Network Management and Asset Tracking

Many retailers already turn to skilled integrators such as Level 10 for network monitoring because they know that services such as 24/7 monitoring, escalation, alert monitoring and troubleshooting are essential to the wellbeing of their businesses. Blending network management with asset management extends that same vigilance to the entire fleet of store devices, ensuring retailers’ substantial investments in these solutions can deliver the store experiences that are widely viewed as mission critical for retailers to survive and thrive.

Combining the two provides much-needed insight into not just the status of the store device ― what’s running on it, when did we buy it, and so on ― but also its presence on the network: Is this a validated device? Should it be on our network? Then via that same network, support technicians can remotely access and remediate issues.

Via Level 10’s help desk service platform, we can bring network management and asset management together, connecting all of those individual remote access tools together with network and asset management tools to unify all of this in one place. With a single version of the truth centrally located, technicians can make the most efficient, informed recommendations on how to manage devices and address issues ­― without multiple phone calls, portal checks, or finger pointing across vendors.

By entrusting Level 10 with blended network and asset management, retailers gain:

  • Streamlined, unified support services without delays and finger-pointing
  • Airtight visibility of all their store IT assets on a single screen
  • The ability to share asset data with OEMs
  • Clear data on what assets should, and should not, be on the network
  • 24/7 monitoring, escalation, alert monitoring, and troubleshooting of the network and all devices on the network
  • Warranty management
  • Remote remediation services on a broad array of devices from one source

Retail store devices are too numerous, too valuable and too mission-critical to risk items going missing or experiencing long periods of disrepair. Blending network and asset devices into an active, consolidated monitoring and management service enables Level 10 to maximize uptime and lifespan for retailers’ important store investments.